United States v. Montes-Ruiz

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Law
  • Date Filed: 03-21-2014
  • Case #: 12-50398
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Circuit Judge Rawlinson for the Court; Circuit Judge Gould and District Judge Lemelle
  • Full Text Opinion

A federal sentencing court may not impose a consecutively running sentence to another pending federal sentence that has not been finalized.

Javier Montes-Ruiz appealed a sentence he received that was to run consecutively to a pending federal sentence. In 2012, Montes-Ruiz was taken into custody for attempting to illegally enter the United States after two prior deportations. This resulted in a bifurcated sentencing, one hearing for the attempted reentry after deportation, and one hearing for the violation of Montes-Ruiz’s supervised release. At the first hearing Montes-Ruiz was sentenced to twenty-four months in custody that was to run consecutively with the pending sentence. At the second hearing, Montes-Ruiz was sentenced to eighteen months in custody that was to run consecutively to the first sentence. The Ninth Circuit held that Montes-Ruiz’s appeal was not moot because the district court may consider any matter relevant to sentencing on remand, including the order from Montes-Ruiz’s second sentencing. The panel held that a federal sentencing court may not impose a consecutively running sentence to another pending federal sentence. The panel also held that the district court properly calculated Montes-Ruiz’s sentence within sentencing guidelines range. AFFIRMED in part, VACATED in part, and REMANDED.

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